Aaah the sun is shining, summer is well and truly in full swing and — more importantly — festival season is here folks! Hurrah!
Regular readers of my blog will know that this is my favourite time of year, bar none.
The boys and are already getting excited about the festivals that we’re booked to go to this summer, and we have a little calendar counting down the days to our favourites.
One that we’re particularly looking forward to revisiting is Just So Festival.
We loved last year’s shenanigans and can’t wait to go again.
I wrote afterwards that I felt it was a perfect festival for first timers, as it has a lovely intimate feel and would definitely not be too overwhelming for very small children. There was so much space to run around in; it never really felt too overcrowded.
Plus there was so much to do.
My best friend took her family along too and we both agreed that it made a nice change to go to a festival where the activities were all included in the ticket price.
There were so many lovely little workshops happening all over the site; everything from dream-catcher making to jelly-bean architecture.
There were lots of things to keep kids of all ages amused (including the big, parent-shaped ones).
Here’s One I Made Earlier…
One of the things from last year, that I wish I’d done (and will definitely make a bee-line for this year), was paper-lantern making.
We arrived late afternoon on the Friday and spent the rest of the day setting up camp and finding our bearings. Then Saturday morning in the Kidunk tent, where the twins made sandcastles and paper-crowns — so we ended up running out of time to make a lantern — but my lovely friend Julia’s children went along, as did my best friend’s family.
They were all given all the equipment they needed to fashion a lantern; willow twigs, tissue paper and glue and, with a little time and a lot of imagination, created the most amazing structures!
The lanterns are left to dry then you’re invited to collect them, on Saturday evening, just in time for the lantern parade.
The Lantern Parade
There was so much anticipation for the parade.
Revellers started collecting their lanterns and gathering in readiness and there was such a buzz in the atmosphere.
Although we hadn’t made our own lanterns, this really didn’t matter.
We stood in an ever-expanding queue — entertained by an extraordinary contraption (almost like a one man band — but on a much bigger scale) — and a giant friendly snail. Yep — a giant snail — you read that right.
Then, as dusk fell, the gathering of people began to snake down the path into a woodland clearing.
It was so magical to watch the lanterns bobbing along and eventually when everyone stopped, we were treated to a fireworks display.
The twins loved everything about this.
The excitement of staying up after dark, the anticipation of fireworks and — most of all — I think they were totally bewitched by the scene that lay ahead of them.
If you go to Just So festival this year, I urge you to go and make a lantern and join the parade.
It was such a joyful scene; a gathering of lovely like-minded souls, all making magical and extraordinary memories for their children.
And — without question — the wonder on my little boys’ faces is one thing that I will remember forever.
Thankfully, I captured a lot on film — have a look; this gives a good indication of just how magical it all was.
All new at Just So Festival for 2018
This year, Just So have got some new areas to entertain us even further.
Roll Up, Roll Up
A glorious large-scale, lakeside area; dedicated to all things circus and seaside.
In this most spectacular and flamboyant area, we can expect tumbling, somersaults and aerial mastery from the best performers in the land. Gasp and faint at amazing shows, try our hands at all manner of circus amazement. Or relax and play together on the stunning lakeside beach.
The Flamingo Lounge
A new area filled to the brim with all things dance and tripping the light fantastic.
Whirl, swirl, disco, cancan, jig, jive, rhumba, spin, strut, shimmy, swing, two-step and throw ALL the shapes together in this gloriously kitsch wonderland.
We’ll also be able to take part in unmissable music and dance performances and workshops and when evening comes boogie the night away here too.
Head into the woods to indulge in relaxation, tranquillity and rejuvenation. Enjoy family yoga, tai chi, Indian head massage and reiki. Unwind in hammocks and experience dreamy live music and performance together.
The Playground of Illusions
We’re invited to enter this intriguing and enthralling new area — full of mystery and trickery — to see the world in a new light.
I’ve no idea what this will be — it sounds exciting — but I’m hoping for a hall of mirrors maybe?!
The Ministry of Games Barn
Finally, head down to the M.O.G Barn for the ultimate board games experience.
Settle down on a sofa and get your game face on. Hone and learn powers of cunning, dexterity, strategy and (ahem) fair play together. Roll the dice, choose your counter, deal the cards, pick your pieces and come and play some of the best board and parlour games ever.
Quick or slow, little or large there’ll be games for all.
Tickets for this year’s Just So Festival 2018 (August 17th to 19th) are on sale now.
Do pop along and check out their website — click here for info on ticket options and pricing. And if you don’t fancy a full weekend of camping, there are still day tickets available for the Sunday. Hurry, hurry, hurry!
The Listed Home are very proud to be official bloggers for Just So this year but all thoughts and words — as ever — are entirely my own.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.